Doing Pizza Deliveries
I relate here my experiences while doing some part-time work doing food and pizza deliveries and how sometimes the work could become hectic; stressful to say the least - at other times it was easy.
I did this work for a while, not too long; it took a toll on my motor car and I did it only to an earn extra income, but it was not really 'my thing'. Had some interesting experiences doing it though.
Perhaps you can relate to experiences you've had in your life; regarding your work or when things went wrong, and also when they went really well?
Looking For Work
I was in my mid-to-late forty's when I was looking for some part-time work. Then pizza deliveries came along. My work-from-home jobs and other odd work that I was doing had fizzled out, and I needed to find something to supplement my income. Often I would look in the newspaper for work but there never seemed to be anything suitable; I needed to find something fairly casual that wasn't full-time.
One of the odd-jobs that I'd had in the past was working for a student, helping out with her thesis; my task was to measure baby sea muscles using a microscope. At first I did not find this work easy, as a lot of concentration was required. After a while I got quite good at the work and started to enjoy it. Eventually the task was completed and I had to stop the work and look for something else.
Quite a few years later I saw an advert in the newspaper for delivery work; food deliveries, that is. I applied for the job, went for an interview, and to my surprise, I got the job. Well little did I know what I'd let myself in for: sure, it sounds easy, just deliver some food to people and get paid for it.
I started off at one place and then later went to work at a restaurant. At the first delivery place we had to go and fetch the food from a restaurant and then deliver it to someone's house; most of the work took place at night except on week-ends when there were more day deliveries. One of my first deliveries was at night to some flats in a suburb in my home city. I wasn't so familiar with the area, I'd been there on odd occasions but did not know it that well. It was decided by lower management that one of the guys who monitored the telephone calls for deliveries would accompany me to help me locate the block of flats. Well I was excited about getting a delivery but also quite nervous, because the delivery had to be done in a certain amount of time; 45 minutes I think it was, first to fetch the food from a restaurant which might or might not be close by; then to locate the deliveree's address and hand over the food as well as collect payment for it. I was driving my rusted old VW Golf which had served me well for many years; it had a few problems such as oil leaks, worn shocks and general wear and tear; it wasn't as if I had to be overly careful, if for instance if it was a new Polo Classic or some such vehicle.
So off we went and for some reason I became gradually stressed; probably because we had to fetch the meal from Spur at a shopping complex which was quite a distance from the delivery place, and then rush off to Algoa Park which meant getting onto the freeway and turning off at some point, a fair distance in itself. I started to panic a bit, my driving became erratic, at one point I drove straight through a red robot and narrowly missed other cars coming from the right and left. My companion just about had a heart attack when I did this and tried to tell me to relax but was also a bit angry with me for the way I was driving. After getting onto the freeway he indicated to me where I must turn off and then we made our way to the desired suburb and found the flats. He knew the people who we were delivering to so he located them fairly quickly and we made the delivery and collected the cash for it. Then I sped back to headquarters to carry out more deliveries.
Speed Bumps & Other Obstacles
One night one of the telephone operators told me to do a delivery that she'd acquired, as quickly as possible, otherwise she would be fined if I did it over the required time limit. This immediately made me feel a bit nervous; it was a difficult delivery; the food had to be be fetched from a far-away restaurant, then when I located the house where I was to deliver, the bell to the house wasn't working. I had to phone the people in the house a few times before I could get hold of them; I was starting to sweat and itch because time was running out. After making the delivery I sped off down the road and didn't see there was a speed bump, I went over it at one helluva speed and bumped the underside of the car and actually damaged the steering rack.
One of the most difficult aspects of the job was finding the persons place where I was making the delivery to, especially as most of the work took place at night, it's difficult to see street names and house numbers at night. Delivering to townhhouse complexes was also not easy because of having to get through the security gate; if I didn't have the code I would have to phone the person from my cellphone, then they'd either give me the code or come out and open the gate with their remote. Another problem was having to fetch the food first from a restaurant, if they weren't ready with the food or very busy, then I had to wait while the clock was ticking and other deliveries needed to be done.
I'm almost forgetting to mention that there were some up-sides to delivery work. Some deliveries went smoothly and were easy and actually a pleasure to carry out. These normally happened when there wasn't too much work, when I'd delivered to the place on a previous occasion and knew exactly where to go, and when the restaurant where I collected the food was on time and had it ready when I arrived there. These type of deliveries were easy-peezy, an absolute pleasure to perform.
Unfortunately these type of shifts where everything ran smoothly were few and far between. The problem was that sometimes there was more than one delivery to do in one journey. This meant that if there were two or more deliveries to do in one journey, much hectic driving around was required, first to one restaurant to collect the food, then to another to collect the food for a second delivery then to take it to the place of delivery, then maybe even a third one where food had to be collected first; sometimes it was difficult to decide whether to collect all the food first, possibly from three different restaurants, then make the deliveries; or to collect the food, make a delivery, collect the next one, make that delivery and so on. Thus sometimes things got hectic and my stress level shot through the roof; just glad I never attempted to become an ambulance driver where peoples lives are at stake; it's probably a lot more stressful than the pizza guys delivery job.
Late Delivery - New Job
There was one particular shift at this first place that I worked for that went particularly badly. It was a Friday, we normally started work at about 5pm; often there weren't many deliveries until after 6pm when people had already arrived home from work and the wife had perhaps decided she wasn't going to cook that night, so it was pizza night, and the pizza must be ordered and delivered. On that particular night the orders started to come in rapidly; there were normally about five or six delivery drivers on duty, but that night there were so many deliveries that it became difficult for us to keep up with them. I can remember driving around in a sort of crazy state of mind, trying desperately to get all the deliveries done on time. I came to one house in Newton Park, not far from the place I was working at, and when I rang the bell nobody answered. I then tried to phone the person there but they did not answer their phone. I strode up and down the pavement checking to see if it was the right address and went through the whole procedure again of trying the bell and phoning the cellphone number, but without any success. What was I to do?
I stood around outside at the gate trying to peer through the glass front door to see if there was anyone walking about inside; without any luck. Then eventually a man came out the front door and approached me; he obviously wasn't very happy about the time the delivery had taken. I tried to explain about how busy we were that night and that we couldn't keep up with all the deliveries and do them on time. But he was having none of it; he refused to accept the delivery and wouldn't pay for it either. He asked if it was me that was receiving the delivery and it was an hour or so late would I have accepted the delivery? I didn't really know what to say, but said yes I would have accepted it. This didn't change his mind and he just said he wasn't going to accept such a late delivery, nor pay for it; he turned his back on me and walked back inside. This was just one of many hectic nights, but the only time while doing this work that a delivery was refused.
While working at this delivery company I used go quite frequently to a Pizza restaurant at a suburb near to where I lived to collect food for delivery. The manager there approached me a couple of times and said he was looking for delivery drivers. After thinking about his offer for a while I decided to accept it and went to his restaurant to work as a driver. They specialized mostly in pizzas but also sold other food and cold drinks and ice creams. I thought this would be easier work than at the previous place, because I wouldn't have to go to a restaurant first to collect the food for delivery, I was already at the restaurant; the pizza or whatever food was ordered just had to be delivered. In that respect I suppose it was a bit easier, however overall it didn't seem much easier after a while. Doing pizza deliveries was still hectic at times.